PARK STRATEGIES NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 12TH
No Legislative Session, Committees or Budget Hearings
Next Week as Legislature takes scheduled break.
68 Bills this week.
Updates from the
CDC: No need to
close exposure to
COVID if you have
been vaccinated in
the last 3 months.
NYS Comptroller Announces 3rd
Quarter NYS Pension Fund
New NYS Education Commissioner
NYS Dept. of Financial Services Announces Fertility Coverage for Same Sex Couples
Working through the white stuff
February’s typical sprinkling of snow and frigid air did not slow down activity at the state capitol last week with the Governor expanding COVID vaccine eligibility, the announcement of increased federal vaccine allocations to the state, and reopening dining in NYC. Last week also marked the conclusion of an upstate congressional election. The legislature is out on winter break next week, see Legislative News for a complete session calendar.
Reopening Dining and Events – New York City indoor dining was given the go ahead to reopen at 25 percent capacity on February 12. Reopening guidance can
be found here. The Governor also announced the limited re-opening of events at certain arenas and stadiums.
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expanded – Governor Cuomo announced on Monday that individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions can make
appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites beginning Sunday, February 14, with the first appointments scheduled for Monday, February 15. He also announced that excess vaccine supply meant for hospital workers can be used to open eligibility
for New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions. It will be left up to local health departments to determine how, where and when to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions.
5 Percent Increase in NYS Vaccine Allocation – Governor Cuomo announced Tuesday that the state will be receiving a 5 percent increase in its federal vaccine allocation over the next three weeks. The Governor also said the supply would not be enough to meet the increased demand with the expansion of the pool of individuals eligible to adults with certain comorbidities. See media here.
Claudia Tenney defeats Brindisi – On Monday, the NYS Board of Elections certified Claudia Tenney as the victor in the 22nd Congressional District, finally
closing the book on the 2020 election cycle. Tenney defeated incumbent Democrat Anthony Brindisi by 109 votes. The certification came after a state Supreme Court Judge Scott J. DelConte ruled that all valid votes in district had been accounted for
NY Clean Air and Water Guarantee goes to voters – The Assembly passed a concurrent resolution Monday (A.1368/S.528) to amend the State Constitution by
adding the right to “clean air and water, and a healthful environment” as a fundamental right for New York residents. The resolution will go to voters as a referendum in November.
2021 Legislative Session Days There is no session next week, as the Legislature adjourns for their scheduled February break. You can find the 2021 Legislative Session calendar here.
Legislative Committees The Legislature has no Committee Meetings scheduled next week due to the break.
Legislation Passed This WeekThe legislature acted on 68 bills this week, including S.14 which outlaws the manufacture, sale or possession of untraceable guns with no serial number known as “ghost guns; S.538B which requires real estate brokers and salespersons to receive implicit bias training as part of their license renewal process; S.858 which clarifies wage theft remains illegal without exception; S.881 which expands on a law passed last year related to building owner liability for certain violations or obstructions. The bill expands liability to any architect, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or agent thereof who has knowledge of a violation, if they had an opportunity to inspect or repair the property with the tenant’s permission; and S.4001 which is a chapter amendment relating to minimum wage rates for covered airport workers.
Scheduled Public Hearings and Budget Hearings
On March 4th, 2021 the Senate Standing Committee on Labor and Transportation will hold a public hearing to hear about the difficulties of taxi drivers and livery drivers across New York State. Full schedule here. With regard to budget hearings, a hearing on Taxes as well as a hearing on Economic Development are scheduled for February 23, and the Health hearing is scheduled for the 25th.
From NYS Governor Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Updated CDC Guidance Eliminating Quarantine Requirement for Fully Vaccinated People Following Close Contact
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance regarding quarantine following exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. According to the guidance, ‘asymptomatic fully vaccinated individuals’, meaning those who have received both shots and at least two weeks have passed since the second shot, are no longer required to quarantine within 90 days after the second shot. Full Statement Here.
Supportive Housing Funding
Governor Cuomo announced on Monday that $90.4 million in state funding has been awarded for 20 projects to house individuals and families experiencing or are at risk of homelessness and provide supportive services. The projects are supported through New York State’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. The funding will create 629 units of permanent supportive housing, 30 units of transitional housing and 11 units of emergency housing serving veterans, survivors of domestic violence and individuals with mental
EO 202.93 was released, permitting indoor dining in NYC.
From the Agencies
New York State Comptroller
NYS Common Retirement Fund Reports Third Quarter Results – Third Straight Quarter of Significant Growth Puts Estimated Value at $247.7 Billion The New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) estimated return in the third quarter
of the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 was 10.01 percent for the three-month period ending
Dec. 31, 2020, and ended the quarter with an estimated value of $247.7 billion, according to
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“Continued growth in the stock market has added to the state pension fund’s dramatic
increases this year,” DiNapoli said. “More importantly, given the ongoing market volatility, our
pension fund is strong and well-diversified and ready to meet any ups and downs. Investment
gains will remain fragile until we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and see more federal
stimulus bolstering the broader economy. We will continue to manage investments with
caution and with a long-term perspective that has been the foundation of our success.”
The Fund’s estimated value reflects benefits of $3.44 billion paid out during the quarter. Its
audited value as of fiscal year end March 31, 2020, was $194.3 billion.
New York State Education Department
New Education Commissioner – Dr. Betty A. Rosa
On Monday, the NYS Board of Regents unanimously appointed Dr. Betty A. Rosa as permanent Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York, the first Latina woman to serve in the position. The Commissioner leads the Department and assists the Board of Regents and Department in carrying out its mission to raise the
knowledge, skill, and opportunity of all the people in New York.
New York State Department of Financial Services
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES NEW ACTIONS TO EXPAND ACCESS TO FERTILITY COVERAGE FOR SAME SEX COUPLES AS PART OF 2021 WOMEN’S AGENDA
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed the Department of Financial Services to ensure that insurers begin covering fertility services immediately for same sex couples who wish to start a family. While current insurance law requires insurers to cover infertility services, same sex
couples must sometimes pay 6 or 12 months of out-of-pocket expenses for fertility treatments
such as testing and therapeutic donor insemination procedures before qualifying for coverage. The Department of Financial Services, under Governor Cuomo’s direction, will direct insurers to provide immediate coverage for fertility services for same sex couples to eliminate lag times and added expenses.